Das Keyboard 4 Pro: Cherry MX Flavored Typing - HotHardware

Das Keyboard 4 Pro: Cherry MX Flavored Typing

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As a species, we've come a long way from the days of carving notes into stone. While our ancestors used chisel and rock, we now use keyboards to hammer out our thoughts and anything that needs to be documented. Some of us spend hours a day sitting in front of a PC, a large portion of which is dedicated to punching keystrokes at a frenzied pace. There's a good chance that your keyboard is actively used more than any other peripheral or accessory, save for your monitor, yet some people give little thought to their plank, as if to suggest that all keyboards are essentially the same.

Professional typists know better. So does Metadot, which started to build a better keyboard nearly a decade ago. You know it as the Das Keyboard and through several generations of refinements, it's evolved into what's now called the Das Keyboard 4 in both Professional (labeled key caps) and Ultimate (blank key caps) variants.

Das Keyboard 4 Stock Image

The market for mechanical keyboards has proven robust since the introduction of the original Das Keyboard, and these days, there's a lot more competition. Typists have shown they're willing to pay a premium for a better keyboard with mechanical key switches, and manufacturers responded by bringing to market a wealth of options. Rather than concede to the competition, Metadot went and redesigned the Das Keyboard, calling the Das Keyboard 4 "the most significant update since the original" model.

Having experience with previous Das Keyboard models and being big fans of mechanical key switches in general, we knew we had to get our hands on the Das Keyboard 4 for test drive. We opted for the Professional model with Cherry MX Blue key switches (both the Professional and Ultimate versions also come with Cherry MX Brown switches), which carries an MSRP of $169. Here's our initial impression.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional w/ Cherry MX Blue Key Switches
Specifications & Features
 Cherry MX mechanical key switches w/ gold contacts
 Dedicated media control with oversized volume knob
 Two-port SuperSpeed USB 3.0 hub
 Instant Sleep button to save energy
 Lasert-etched key cap inscriptions (Professional) to prevent fading
 104-key US layout
 Footbar to raise keyboard also functions as a ruler
 6.5-foot (201 cm) USB cable with single USB type-A connector
 18 inches by 6.8 inches by .08 inches (45.72 cm by 17.272 cm by 2.032 cm)
 2.9 lbs (1.3 kg)
 NKRO over USB
 Anodozed aluminum top panel
 Firmware upgradeable
 3-year warranty
 $169 MSRP (Professional w/ Cherry MX Blue)

Das Keyoboard 4 Stock

With this generation of the Das Keyboard, Metadot allows its customers to go Cherry MX picking. By that we mean you have a choice between two mechanical key switches -- Cherry MX Blue and Cherry MX Brown. The Cherry MX Blue version that we opted for offers tactile feedback when the activation point is hit along with an audible "clicky" sound. By comparison, Cherry MX Brown switches produce a softer tactile bump and are not clicky.

There's also a slight difference in price between the two key switches when ordering a Das Keyboard 4; the Professional model with Cherry MX Blue switches goes for $169 MSRP and the Cherry MX Brown sells for $173 MSRP.

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I don't know that I'll ever be willing to fork over $200 for a keyboard, but the ruler makes it tempting. :p

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It's too expensive for me.

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I SO want one; may replace my need to rely on Logitech keyboards for both home and professional use (I own 2 K800s a K810, and planned on getting the Mac version of the K810).

Being a Logitech loyalist when it comes to keyboards, being a fan of the high quality, warranty, and durability Logitech provides, this keyboard may be my go-to PROFESSIONAL keyboard for usage w/ VIM to do web work.

Never heard of Das before and it seems foolish to me to not try them out. Knowing quality keyboards of Logitech like the K800 deserving are 100 dollars and a bit both more, $169 for what the Das provides is absolutely fair to me.

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You might find it's a bit of a adjustment going from the K800 or K810 to with low profile keys to a mechanical keyboard, but once your fingers adjust, it's absolute bliss.

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I was a logitech loyalist for years (im 36 now, been a fan since i was 19). I can say that going from rubber dome to mechanical (black widow) was night and day. It's lightyears past the feel of any logitech. Then I went from a BW to a DAS and I can say that the difference in feel and quality were as different from the BW to DAS ultimate s silent as it was going to BW from logitech...and I didn't think that was possible. I now refuse to type on anything else because quite frankly, everything else feels like utter trash in comparison (except for other exceptional kbs which are in the same leauge like the ducky and filco etc). Bite the bullet and take the plunge, you won't regret it...especially if you're still using a rubber dome. You have to realize that the worst mechanical kb you can find is still going to be eons better than the highest quality rubber dome board out there. :)

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Thanks for your sharing your experience with Mechanical Keyboards compared to rubber dome keyboards. You being a fellow Logitech loyalist in the past, I have to buy the Das Ultimate and be amazed now...

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I agree about Mech Keyboards. I have a Corsair K90 with back-lit keys. Typing on it is a pleasure. (TBPO: I really like typing on my Apple Model A1243 Aluminum KB too)

Mechanical Keyboards are the best, and prices are finally coming down on a lot of them. Check out Rosewill's budget priced line. They have Cherry switches in all four flavors.

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Next time I am in the computer store that carries one, I'm going to test type one of these. Mechanical keyboard seems to be the best type (pun) and I am more than willing to test out that theory.

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I personally use the following Max Keyboard Nighthawk X8 (Cherry MX Brown) Backlit Mechanical Keyboard and you can get together groups of individuals (10 of them specifically) through a couple of boards on the internet then you get a substantial price break. Mine was $115 + shipping at whatever speed I wanted to pay for. It is 363 days old now and I must say it is the best choice I ever made in a keyboard. It also still works like it did when new not a single key has faded or rubbed/smudged in any way. I blow it out with an air can every now and then and keep it clean not a light has faded either and through Maxkeyboard you can replace them personally or by sending them in for servicing. When I am gaming they work flawlessly when I want them to be quiet they do so when I am no caring and just want to fly they type exceptionally faster but are also louder then. I would not trade this with any keyboard I have ever used and I have used other mechanical key switch keyboards.

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Das is an artisan's keyboard, as are Decks. I love my Deck... I pound on that thing all day and it keeps delivering,

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